Just over a month until the release of this third album, Pure Comedy, Father John Misty offers another entertaining and thought provoking single in the form of "Total Entertainment Forever."
A frightening three minute tale of how society is quickly allowing technology to take over our lives - particularly in how we entertain ourselves - "Total Entertainment Forever" expresses Misty's thoughts that we will soon be living in the matrix, if we aren't already.
The song's controversial first line, "Bedding Taylor Swift / Every night inside the Oculus Rift," does not have the same meaning as Kanye West's sexualisation of Swift in "Famous," but is a remark on the public and how we view forms of entertainment. Never short of a word, Misty explained the line and themes of the album in an interview with Exclaim:
“Human civilizations have been entertaining themselves in disgusting ways all through human history — I mean, whether it’s lighting Christians on fire, or whatever. We have to consider that maybe there are ways in which we entertain ourselves now that are equally as disturbing. I think that that’s important — to not assume that everything about the way we live is the direct product of progress.
The fact of the matter is, I don’t want that to happen to Taylor Swift. That is the worst thing I can think of; that is so horrible. But again, this plays into progress, where like, the internet was supposed to be this new democracy, a utopia of information where everyone had a voice and we were all interconnected, and we would experience true democracy — and it turned into pornography, followed only by outrage. The tools represent some kind of technological advancement, but if we can’t act like more than angry ecstasy freaks with the most advanced technology in the world, then how much have we really progressed?
And if you don’t think that this virtual reality thing isn’t going to turn into sex with celebrities, then you’re kidding yourself. That face recognition stuff? I mean, there are people working on it right now. It’s absurd. Someone sitting with this headset on, you know? Oh God, it’s just, how many different ways do human beings need to masturbate?
So on the album there are more than a few songs where I’m saying ‘Is this progress? Like, is this really what progress looks like?"
It's easy to tell Misty is an intelligent man with great concern for the human race, and through his comedic approach to songwriting, he continues to highlight not only the darker side of humanity, but possibly the eventual downside of the human race as we know it.
Pure Comedy is set for release April 7.